Thousand mourners attend Junior Malanda’s funeral in Brussels

BRUSSELS, Belgium —  

More than 1,000 mourners clogged Brussels’ main basilica to pay their last respects on Tuesday to Belgium youth international and Wolfsburg midfielder Junior Malanda, who died in a car crash last week.

Among the attendees, many of whom wore Wolfsburg colors, were Belgium coach Marc Wilmots, Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking and manager Klaus Allofs.

Malanda was a back-seat passenger when the driver of the SUV lost control and the vehicle skidded off a slippery highway 10 days ago and overturned several times. Malanda, aged 20, was pronounced dead on the spot.

Former teammate Mbaye Leye said ”it is a tough day for all. We are here to support the family.”

Wolfsburg midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (R) attended the funeral.

Malanda had Congolese roots, and the service included several African songs and dances.